When I started I was taught tenchi (I don't know the literal translation here) movements. This was later simplified to "stepping back" because I don't think tenchi translates this way. Anyways, I was definitely taught backwards movement, although not a lot of it, and I think it can definitely get you in trouble.
I was surprised that ...there are no backwards steps in aikido. since the style I practice has a specific exercise for moving backwards. Still, I recall seeing a style that its practioners didn't seem to move backwards.
Does your style use only forward motion, or does it have exercises and ways to step backwards?
Tenchi means "ground-sky." I can't remember which syllable is which.
There are obviously reverse steps in aikido to maintain correct distancing, particularly in aikiken/aikijo, but during an actual technique you don't step back. You enter or you tenkan (OK, a little too brief here). You can enter by moving a foot back but it's not really a backards step. (You can see an example of this in the Seven Samurai clip on aikidofaq). You'll notice in a randori that Tore always advances towards a particular Uke rather than wait for one to attack. Often attacks can be viewed as just an opening for a technique, that's why there's emphasis on drawing attacks.
And, of course, a long life eating mush is best.